The latest edition of the Atlantic features an excellent article on our nation’s struggle with obesity. Beating Obesity is written by Marc Ambinder and it’s a thoughtful, in-depth look at the political and social ramifications of this seemingly losing battle. We learn about the major players including First Lady Michelle Obama, the food industry and the insurance companies. (Ambinder himself struggled with obesity and eventually underwent bariatric surgery as a solution.) Ambinder does a very good job in discussing the issues of individual responsibility and the environmental challenges we face such as food at every checkout line (not just at the grocery store), ever growing portion sizes, and junk food that is cheaper than fresh fruits and vegetables.
Most importantly he examines the moral and demographic issues of obesity. He notes the following:
“Black children are more at peril of becoming obese than white children; black women are more than 50 percent more likely to be obese than white women. ‘At the current rate of increase,’ epidemiologists noted in a recent article in Obesity, ‘it will take less than 30 years for all black women to become overweight or obese.’ Obesity rates are above average among Mexican American boys, as they are among Hispanics generally. Obesity rates among young American Indians tend to be nearly twice the national average.
Please check out the article. It’s an excellent piece.